The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Turkish, Coffee, and its discontents

It has been an interesting week here in the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread.  Since Monday, I have been an unwilling participant in an ongoing argument with an elderly and more than a little loony Puerto Rican gentleman about the proper conjugation of Turkish verbs.  I am an unwilling participant in this brouhaha because, as I have told him numerous times, I do not speak Turkish, I have never spoken Turkish, and it is entirely unlikely that I will be trying to learn Turkish any time in the immediate future.  Given this state of absolute ignorance concerning all things concerning the Turkish language, I am not in a position to debate the proper conjugation of verbs in the future dubitative tense with this gentleman.  In fact, however, I should mention that the gentleman I am having this one-sided argument with is in no position to argue the facts of Turkish verb conjugation either—possession of a small and incredibly ratty Turkish dictionary  bought for a quarter at the second hand bookstore down the street from us does not make one an expert on the Turkish language, Turkish culture, or the long-term ramifications of current Turkish foreign policy in the eastern Mediterranean region and beyond, a position, I feel, is something that Turks  of all political persuasions can agree with. If not, please let me know.  After he finished lecturing me on how wrong I was in all matters concerning Turkish verb conjugation and grammar, our Puerto Rican gentleman asked for the address and phone number of a Spanish botanica in the city, saying that he wanted to go there in order to find something to help alleviate his loneliness.  No one at his group home wants to talk to him, he said, and he did not understand why not.  I must admit that I was about to snicker when he said this, but then the chuckle died aborning; it struck me that it must indeed be a lonely life for a mentally ill elderly man without a family when even his fellow crazies think he’s nuts.

Television advertising constantly reminds the American public these days that America runs on the baked goods and coffee of a large chain of restaurants that will remain unnamed here. If you are an American, you know which chain I am talking about; if you are not, then there is no point in bringing the matter up; and if you are an advertising executive for this chain who wants to do some product placement I should point out that the advertising rates for such placement are very reasonable here.  Getting back to the facts, I was sitting at the red light waiting to make my right onto the highway that leads into the heart of our happy little burg.  Unlike many red lights, which simply serve as a device to justify cops handing out traffic tickets, this particular red light does serve a practical function. While it is possible to make the right on red at this particular red light, it is not advisable.  The lay of the land and the curvature of the road are such that in order to see if anything is coming down the highway, the hurried motorist must inch out almost halfway out onto the highway, thereby increasing the risk of having the front end of his car sheared off by some impatient doofus hurtling through the intersection before the yellow light turns red.  Needless to say, I have, over the years, been the subject of so many near-misses at this light that I no longer go inching out onto the highway; being an extra minute early for work is simply not worth risking my neck for.  This attitude, however, is not widespread hereabouts, as demonstrated this morning when the incredibly angry obese woman with a face like a cross between a Vietnamese fat-bellied pig and a rusty fire hydrant in the car behind me began leaning on the horn in order to move me along.  I was not going to move, for the reasons aforementioned, and because that moving along is not a big deal at this light. This light, unlike so many traffic lights, actually goes through its green—yellow—red cycle quickly, so motorists in a hurry are never left sitting there wondering, when is this damn light ever going to change, for long.  

In any case, after one prolonged and very unnecessary horn blast, the woman opened her window and began screaming at me. I did not shout back at her; I simply adjusted my rear-view mirror in such a way that she could see what I was saying and used a short but definite phrase to let her know that I was not going to move until the light was green.  Our automotive Brunnhilde saw what I said, and promptly backed up and went around me even as the light was changing and went roaring out onto the highway without looking to see if there was anything coming. Now, if life was fair, this avoirdupois ass would have had her avoirdupois ass smeared all over the road by a tractor-trailer, but alas, Nemesis would not have Her way with this gelatinous dolt today.  She roared off down the highway like a Macy’s Thanksgiving balloon in a high wind even as the light turned green. I went out onto the highway a moment later and without worrying about the oncoming traffic.

I saw her only a few minutes later.  She was in the parking lot of the unnamed coffee and baked goods chain whose products keep America running, trying to hoist her very substantial and circumferential self out of the driver’s seat of her car.  I laughed out loud, a not terribly polite reaction on my part, I know, but one I could not help at the time—the idea of charging blindly out onto a highway without checking to see if there was anything coming was just so stupid to me I could not believe it, as was knowing that the object of this stupidity was because this onnazumo manqué could not bear someone keeping her from her doughnuts and coffee for an extra twenty seconds.  Those guys must make a damn fine cup of Joe.  

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  • At 2:26 AM, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said…

    Uhu. This is why judicious distribution of licenses to kill is necessary.


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